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miR-342-3p suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation through inhibition of IGF-1R-mediated Warburg effect

Authors Liu W, Kang L, Han J, Wang Y, Shen C, Yan Z, Tai Y, Zhao C

Received 5 January 2018

Accepted for publication 10 February 2018

Published 23 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1643—1653


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Carlos E Vigil

Wenpeng Liu,1,* Lei Kang,2,* Juqiang Han,3 Yadong Wang,1 Chuan Shen,1 Zhifeng Yan,4 Yanhong Tai,5 Caiyan Zhao1

1Department of Infectious Diseases, Third Affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China; 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China; 3Institute of Liver Disease, Beijing Military General Hospital, Beijing, China; 4Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China; 5Department of Pathology, Hospital of PLA, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is a well-studied oncogenic factor that promotes cell proliferation and energy metabolism and is overexpressed in numerous cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Aerobic glycolysis is a hallmark of cancer, and drugs targeting its regulators, including IGF-1R, are being developed. However, the mechanisms of IGF-1R inhibition and the physiological significance of the IGF-1R inhibitors in cancer cells are unclear.
Materials and methods:
Cell proliferation was evaluated by cell counting Kit-8 and colony formation assay. Western blot and real-time PCR were accordingly used to detect the relevant proteins, miRNA and gene expression. Luciferase reporter assays were used to illustrate the interaction between miR-342-3p and IGF-1R. The effect of miR-342-3p on glycolysis was determined by glucose uptake, ATP concentration, lactate generation, extracellular acidification rate and oxygen consumption rate assays. In vivo, subcutaneous tumor formation assay and PET were performed in nude mice.
In this study, we demonstrate that by directly targeting the 3’-UTR (3’-untranslated regions) of IGF-1R, microRNA-342-3p (miR-342-3p) suppresses IGF-1R-mediated PI3K/AKT/GLUT1 signaling pathway both in vitro and in vivo. Through suppression of IGF-1R, miR-342-3p dampens glycolysis by decreasing glucose uptake, lactate generation, ATP production, and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR), and increasing oxygen consumption rate (OCR) in hepatoma cells. Importantly, glycolysis regulated by miR-342-3p is critical for its regulating HCC growth both in vitro and in vivo.
Conclusion: Our findings provide clues regarding the role of miR-342-3p as a tumor suppressor in liver cancer mainly through the inhibition of IGF-1R. Targeting IGF-1R by miR-342-3p could be a potential therapeutic strategy in liver cancer.

miR-342-3p, IGF-1R, liver cancer, glycolysis, metabolism, PET

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